Photos and Words by Blake Bottrill
Thousands turned up over the weekend to see the likes of July Talk, Carly Rae Jepsen, The Flaming Lips and Blue Rodeo. A packed weekend of music kicked off Friday night as the rain couldn’t keep the crowd away. Unfortunately it was enough to make me leave my camera in my bag and just enjoy the show for once! Wolf Parade and July Talk played a pair of high energy sets on the main stage to finish the night. The 90 minute set from July Talk included Leah joining the crowd multiple times and having a sit down with everyone at Bissell Park. They also included a special tribute to the late Aretha Franklin that got the whole crowd singing!
As the weather on Saturday cleared the patrons of Southern Ontario showed up in full force as the grounds were packed from just after 4PM. Juno’s Breakthrough Group of the Year for 2018, The Beaches, took to the stage just before 6PM for a set that ended too soon for everyone listening. Carly Rae Jepsen took to the main stage after that with her bubbly personality and endlessly catchy hits the whole crowd was singing from the first note. At one point she donned an intricate vest made by a fan and was thrilled the fan was going to let her keep it, “I’m going to wear this all the time!”
The Flaming Lips didn’t just play a concert. They put on a show. From opening the set with Also Sprach Zarathustra to giant inflatable robots and what was likely hundreds of balloons released into the crowd within minutes The Flaming Lips came ready to party. Additional highlights included 3 foot long lazer-wielding gloves worn by Wayne; David Bowie’s Space Oddity sung from inside a blow up hamster ball in the middle of the crowd; a disco ball the size of Smart Car and enough LEDs to light up your deepest darkest secrets!
The lovely weather and music continued on Sunday as everyone piled in early Sunday afternoon to set up their lawn chairs, claim their spot and catch the early performers. The first notable act Bedouin Soundclash of early 2000’s fame took to the stage at 4PM and had a performance packed full of hits and a healthy mix of new material. Polaris shortlist candidates Weaves were up next with a quirky yet endearing set that had the crowd dancing around. The last before Sunday night’s headliner was Dear Rogue, a duo from Vancouver that I knew nothing about but fell in love with over the course of their 45 minute set! Wrapping up the festival was the perennially amazing Blue Rodeo. After playing Budweiser Stage the night before they didn’t look tired as they blew through an hour and a half of what felt like Blue Rodeo’s greatest hits.
Toronto's Music Blog
When music comes to Toronto, we show it!